From the very depths of hell… EURYNOMOS! A dark entity from the German underground rises… EURYNOMOS is by far the best new act to emerge from this godforsaken scene during the last years. Initially the morbid vision of axeman Aethon and Okkulto (vocals), the band became "one" with the addition of bass player Magma and drummer Nimetön. These German maniacs truly show their ability to create a raw’n’evil vintage Metal sound with their debut 7" "Unchained From The Crypt" which feels like a "forgotten in time" recording from the mid 80s. If you consider yourself a real fan of dark Heavy Metal à la ancient VENOM / SLAYER as well as the disharmonic side of DEATH ROW (US) you should give EURYNOMOS a chance… a real, honest band beyond current trends, HEAVY, evil and… argh!!! The following interview was done with axeman Aethon.
Aethon, salutes from Hellas! EURYNOMOS has been a killer surprise for real fans of old styled Heavy Metal with a dark’n’evil edge. Can you introduce the legions to EURYNOMOS? How did you start the band? Can you share the full story? I hear that some of the EURYNOMOS members are also members of the notorious Hellbanger’s Moselfranken?
"Hails back to Hellas! Thanks for inviting us to the realm of VOICES FROM THE DARKSIDE, it is a real honour. EURYNOMOS is a metallic daemon that wants to capture the spirit of the pioneers of the dark and extreme Metal genre, when the sound was new and fresh. The idea and concept of EURYNOMOS is pretty old. Okkulto, the singer, has been a longtime friend and I thought it was a pity that he retired from music after he left DESASTER, his unique voice should be heard again. For this reason, I already started writing songs many years ago, "Unchained From The Crypt" is probably 5 years old now, some songs that are waiting to be recorded are even older, much older. I just waited for Okkulto to break the chains and rise from his crypt. During the years, Okkulto received several offers from other bands to join, but he refused. He needed a break from music business after all the years with DESASTER. He was busy with lots of other very time consuming things that he always wanted to do in his life, so there was not much spare time and probably inspiration to also run a band beside that. But the idea of singing again has always been in his head. After I tested some drummers without any success cause either the chemistry wasn’t there or the drummers lived too far away which would have made it too complicated, Okkulto got in touch with Nimetön (drums) and we started to rehearse. Later I recruited Magma (bass), he used to play in a local band that split up some years ago and was hungry to play music again. The first line-up was completed. Yes, two members of the band are members of the Hellbangers Moselfranken Heavy Metal Club. Okkulto and myself are of the founding members of the Hellbangers, Okkulto left later on but finally returned last year again when he came back from his crypt. Most of the Hellbangers and all the connected bands still keep the flame of traditional Metal burning, like DESASTER, NOCTURNAL, MIDNIGHT RIDER, METAL INQUISITOR, etc and so is EURYNOMOS. It is great to be a member of this Heavy Metal Fan Club for almost 20 years now, the fire still burns!"
EURYNOMOS is a total honest raw attack, and the sound that you create is pure cult. I know these words are frequently used, but the sound of EURYNOMOS is ‘baptized’ in the 80s tradition. It’s not a simple "copy" of that sound (or even worse, the clichés), but a fresh and very much "alive" approach, with a totally unique touch… It’s obvious that you live’n’breathe that sound.
"It’s hard to analyze your own sound and style, but from the very beginning I wanted to have a true vintage sound and style that is still sounding fresh and not dusted, with songs that are straight to the point without any big breaks, like a train that keeps on rolling. Not easy to do. It is nice to be inspired by a certain band but not like being like a copy. It is great to hear that you appreciate the sound, thanks for the words. The "alive” sound is probably because all was played from start to finish, no copy paste stuff that seems to be really popular to do. True amp sound, loud as hell, two guitars in stereo, no filters and stuff. Very easy. Perhaps that’s the reason? Not sure how other bands work but this is how we did it. Also my amp and guitar is from the 80s and so is the drum kit as far as I know."
Your guitar sound in EURYNOMOS is totally vintage combining many different elements from 80s cult acts like ancient VENOM / SLAYER, but in a more disharmonic, heavy way… even Doom parts can be found! It’s as all these elements are melted and a totally old dark Heavy Metal sound is forged out of them. Do you agree? What are your influences, including guitarists? It is clear that you must have some old BLACK SABBATH, HELLHAMMER, BATHORY (etc) background… how about the others members? It seems that the entire band is going towards the same direction with respect to influences?
"Classic VENOM and early SLAYER are definitely two of the bands we salute, they are eternal heroes of my and Okkulto’s youth! And yes, some doomy parts are included as well and you are right, bands like BLACK SABBATH, HELLHAMMER but also DEATH ROW (US) are important influences for some parts of the songwriting. I am personally really into the heavy bands, the other guys like the stuff as well but it’s more my thing to like the sinister type of heavy influences. But generally we are all pretty much on the same line. Of course there are differences in taste, but fortunately the songs I present to them are rarely rejected. We talk about it, discuss the ideas and complete the songs. It is a challenge to mix those speed parts with heavy elements. I love open power chords, that’s the moment where the amp energy takes command. As said before, my gear is old as well, so that’s another part of the vintage sound. An old Marshall amp and an axe right from the 80s. Guitarists I look up to are people who managed to have their own style and wrote Metal history, like Jeff Mantas, Jeff Hanneman, Toni Iommi, etc."
Okkulto’s distinct vocals still sound very raw and passionate! In a way, it feels that he is really hungry for expressing his inner beast. What can you share about his "comeback" to the scene (I mean as a singer, because I hear that he has always been a diehard fan)? What rekindled his Metal flame to return to the weapons and get involved into something new? As far as I remember, Okkulto was burnt out during his time with DESASTER… is this the entire truth, or…?
"Okkulto has a very unique voice and style, something you don’t find that often in today’s extreme Metal scene where many singers sound quite alike. And he really is passionate as you said, yes. He loves the raw feeling and drama in music. The good thing about Okkulto is that he didn’t really follow new bands in extreme Metal after he left DESASTER, he kind of retired from the active scene but still kept listening to his old heroes. So there are no new influences existing. He often asks me "how the hell can people like this?“ when it comes to newer Black / Death / Thrash stuff, he has no connection to newer styles. His voice is very strong, he can sing a rehearsal without having any problems with his voice, in contrary to many other raw Metal singers who have a sore throat and cannot speak after a session. That’s his strength, and his voice is still there 100%, perhaps even darker, dirtier and stronger than before. His comeback… he always wanted to do something new again but he needed to find the adrenalin and right moment to do it. It really took very long, but finally he now understood that the time has come to do it. The songs were ready and waiting for him to return. I cannot talk about his split in DESASTER, cause that’s his story, it was his choice. Somehow it didn’t work out any longer for whatever reasons, etc, but it is all so long ago, it doesn’t matter any longer. I know that there is no bad blood or something and he is still a good friend of bass player Odin. All that matters now is EURYNOMOS."
Your sound on the debut 7", "Unchained From The Crypt", is very straight-forward and primitive! Isn’t it very important to have a real, "organic" production / sound for the music you create? Do you think that a bad (or perhaps a "too good" production) can destroy a potentially good album? Say you could go ‘back in time’ and enter a studio where one of your favorite bands recorded and you sneaked in with EURYNOMOS to record the 7", which one would that be, and during what era / year?
"A straight forward and primitive style has always been my fave style, we just tried to do songs that we would listen to as a fan, simple as that. The production is organic, we don’t manipulate the sound with too many filters and stuff. Also, we are happy that our bass player Magma has some good experiences when it comes to recording. He is our producer and engineer, he takes care of the recordings and everything, and besides his Metal faves he also likes music like Frank Zappa, etc, so he has a good ear for organic sounds. A strange production can always hurt an album, take "Beyond The Gates“ as an example or most of the new sterile productions you hear nowadays which sound totally dead. About a studio that we would enter if we could travel back in time?! Hmmm… Randy Burns was a hell of a producer, all his early works are awesome, "Seven Churches“, "Scream Bloody Gore“, "Darkness Descends“, etc… I think those albums speak for themselves, don’t they? These have a really good super powerful and intense production in a good way, not sterile and not sounding "fake“. If I had a sound like "Seven Churches“ I would be knighted."
The EURYNOMOS logo looks great, same as the cult name of the band. Was the band’s choice for the name inspired by the classic HELLHAMMER track, or the necrovore demon of the Greek mythology? How important was for the band to have such an effective name / logo? The simple, yet effective cover of the 7" reminded me a bit of the classic "Power From Hell" cover art, with the demon holding the axe, hehe…
"Yes, it is a combination of old mythology and HELLHAMMER. We didn’t want to have an English bandname but something from the ancient times, and the link to HELLHAMMER also shows which Metal era is important for us. I wanted to create a logo that is readable but still looks traditional and the devil’s tail should show that we are a dark sounding band and not like a "Mosh Metal“ band, haha. Interesting that you compare the artwork with ONSLAUGHT’s first LP, first time I hear this. Our devil is more like an old devil from the past, very primitive, like a shadow puppet. The music is simple and straight ahead and the cover artwork should reflect this, like a message à la "this is basic stuff"."
Many "new" bands play old styled Metal (be it Heavy, Thrash, etc), but it’s rather obvious that many of them just pick clichéés and put them together into songs instead of creating something fresh with those influences… How difficult do you consider avoiding such a trap, and creating something "old" but "new" at the same time?
"It is a question what element of the old styled Metal you are focused on. There are for instance lots of bands that are inspired by VENOM but they focus more on the Rock’n’Roll "hell yeah“ side of VENOM while we focus more on the dark, serious, atmospheric and evil side of VENOM. You will probably hear it a bit more on the 2nd EP. Lots of young bands want to sound and look more 80s than the 80s actually were, it is often "over the top“. I think you have to be a child of the 80s Metal if you want it to sound authentic, you cannot fake it. Bands who just steal from other bands are totally crap of course, you can be inspired by somebody but not rip off the riffs and complete style. The best compliment you can get as a band is that somebody recognizes your style. Clichés are sometimes ok but the core should be dead serious. We cannot reinvent the wheel and we are aware that we only play music that has a vintage style but at the end of the day all that matters is that songs either rule or suck. And we hope that the true legions of leather and chains wearing Headbangers will appreciate our releases."
How do you see the evolution of the scene (in general)? Do you feel that Metal has reached its boundaries and many bands simply play the same recipe again and again, til the bitter end? When was the last time that you were "blown away" by a new release / band? And how much diversity / uniqueness do you believe that a new band can achieve nowadays, and still be considered traditional? Does it all just have to do with attitude or a diverse knowledge of Metal, or…?
"It is true, there is no real evolution, at least not a revolutionary one. Now lots of extreme Metal bands are more focused on atmosphere instead of delivering riffs, like all those occult Death Metal bands that now pop out everywhere cause it is a new trend. That’s ok, but it is all more a question of sound and expression. But like I said before, all that matters, at least for me, is the quality of the songwriting. If you manage to write a good and catchy song that people like and can remember afterwards, then mission is accomplished, no matter how you do it. Only the best can do it, and there are not many left. I am a conservative Metalhead, I don’t care about evolution, I just wanna listen to new good albums that are filled with great riffs and real songs that you can recognize as songs that stick in your head. Not many new releases blew me out of my boots. I loved the last BLACK SABBATH album "13“ and "The Ninth Hour“ by THE HOUNDS OF HASSELVANDER, that’s such a damn heavy and unique album. Not an easy one at all but at least no fast food and full of sinister moments and a brilliant sound. Of course, those albums did not present something new. It was old but good news."
Where do you place EURYNOMOS in the contemporary underground? Do you feel any sort of affinity with any currently active bands (sharing similar background, understanding and / or goals)? Or do you consider EURYNOMOS as belonging to an older / long gone scene and you do not find any connecting link to the current scene as well?
"Hmm, never really thought about that and I tell you why: we really don’t look left or right, we just do what we do and hope that we and others enjoy what we do. I mean, we are still a new band even though the songs are old, we haven’t done much yet except for the 1st EP, the 2nd one is already recorded and the third one will be done late summer. We are not like trying to get in touch with lots of other bands, we are just focusing on what we are doing right now. Generally, we have big respect for all bands who do their own thing, beyond any trends and mainstream, no matter what people say. Bands like DARKTHRONE, PENTACLE, etc and I hope that one day EURYNOMOS will be seen as a band that has its own expression and sound."
Do you play any cover tunes during rehearsals? It would be interesting to hear your choices…
"No, so far we haven’t done any covers. We are talking about doing 1 or 2 but honestly, I prefer to play our own songs. Wish me luck that I can come up with enough good ideas so we don’t even have any time and energy left to play covers, hehe. Okkulto wants to do some covers, let’s see what will happen."
Are there any plans to play live with EURYNOMOS in the future? If so, with which bands would you prefer to play together with?
"It’s not clear yet. I personally am not really interested to play live but the other guys are. Anyway, first we have to do the EPs and then see how things develop plus we need to have a good repertoire of songs anyway before we hit the stage. Bands we would like to play with? Old SLAYER with paint and DEATH with Kam Lee, also with paint of course, haha. But I am afraid they would have blown us away anyway. Seriously, every band with a same conservative style would be ok."
What are the next moves for EURYNOMOS? I hear that there is one more 7" expected to be released in Autumn. Can you share some of the future plans of the band?
"The 2nd EP is already recorded and is currently in the mixing process. It will include three songs, ‘Eurynomos (Beast Of Hades)’, ‘Invisible Rays’ and ‘Eye Of The Pantheon’, around 13 minutes of playing time again. This time, the songs will be a bit different compared to the first EP which was more straight speed ahead. But don’t worry, they will be dark, powerful and straight to the point. They are perhaps a bit heavier than before and I am more satisfied with the production, but you will judge yourself once it is out. We try to make every song have its own character and signature and the 2nd EP will be a good example for this. Three different sounding songs, still all come as a match. And we already work on the songs for the third EP. After this EP, we close the EP chapter and move on."
Will there soon be EURYNOMOS merchandise, like t-shirts and patches?
"We already did a couple of shirts for the real supporters and close friends, and some other crazy guys want to do some patches which is nice. Also, a cassette version of "Unchained From The Crypt“ will be released on Coffin Filth Records and the EP itself will be out on Iron Pegasus Records along with a shirt with the EP cover artwork. Then we will send the second 7“ EP into the pressing plant after the drawing for the cover artwork is finished and then work on the third of the EP storms and hopefully manage to have 13 minutes of playing time again, just like on the other two EPs."
Thanks a lot for the interview Aethon, it is very much appreciated! I hope I didn’t bore you to death hehe… Keep up the killer work with EURYNOMOS!!! The final word is yours…
"Mega-Thanks to you for giving us the opportunity to do our word in VOICES FROM THE DARKSIDE, one of the last true places for real Metal mayhem. We will do our best to deliver neck breaking songs, lots of tracks are composed, lined up and waiting to get recorded properly. Cheers for the support, stay wild and keep it loud as hell. If you want it dark and heavy, you’re welcome to check out EURYNOMOS. By the way, the Hellbangers think about invading Athina, so better be ready to join us, hehe.“